Thailand Facts and Figures

Thailand Facts

Background

A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US ally following the conflict. The monarchy of Thailand is currently facing armed violence in its three Muslim-majority southernmost provinces.

Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
Area:      Total: 514,000 sq km      Land: 511,770 sq km     Water: 2,230 sq km
Provinces: 76
Land boundaries: total: 4,863 km
Border countries: Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 km
Climate: tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid
Languages: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
Population: 64,865,523
Age structure: 0-14 years: 24.1% (male 7,985,724; female 7,631,337)
15-64 years: 68.7% (male 21,998,552; female 22,538,765)
65 years and over: 7.3% (male 2,167,421; female 2,543,724) (2004 est.)
Ethnic groups: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
Religions: Buddhism 95%, Muslim 3.8%, Christianity 0.5%, Hinduism 0.1%, other 0.6% (1991)
Capital: Bangkok
Government type: Constitutional monarchy
Independence: 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
National holiday: Birthday of King PHUMIPHON, 5 December (1927)
Timezone: GMT/UTC + 7